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news conference this week where he said if -- if this debate is just about reducing the fiscal deficit, he's on board and let's get it done, but he suspects that there are a lot of conservative republicans out there for whom this debate is about the bigger picture of the role the federal government plays in americans' lives, and he said that's not a debate he wants to have. he doesn't want to be cutting entitlement programs just because conservatives want to reduce the role of government in americans' lives. is it possible we're having two simultaneous debates at once here? >> well, he's got to reconcile the differences. almost like saying i know i'm overweight but don't ask me to go on a diet. i mean, there's got to be efficiencies found in the federal government. the fact that we're cutting spending doesn't mean that we don't continue to provide services to people. >> but it will take date where the spending cuts i made is the point he's making. you can talk about military cuts which is what he would i think be going after as opposed to the entitlement cuts that the republicans want
. >> and the always colorful senator alan simpson is with us, no bigger advocate of getting america's debt and deficit under control, but does he think the debt ceiling is the leverage that republicans should use to get that done? he'll join us exclusively, and i know you're going to ask him about that. >> absolutely. >> let's check out the action on the street right here. here's how things are shaping up with less than an hour to go. the dow jones industrial average hitting basically at the highs of the day. had been down around 60 points earlier. talking about a gain of 20 points on the blue chip average. fractional move at 13,527. nasdaq chart pattern looks similar. take a look though it's negative. down about nine points on the nasdaq, a quarter points lower and the s&p 500 looks like this. similar chart pattern as the dow up a fraction on the standard & poor's but still that's the high of the afternoon. let's get more on the markets in today's "closing bell" exchange by hank smith and steve from comcast funds and our own rick santelli. >> hello. >> good to see you guys. >> thank you so much for j
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